Mayor, Author Make Great Team

September was an amazing month here at our little press, thanks in large part to Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude. By choosing Tim Grobaty's "I'm Dyin' Here: A Life in the Paper," he not only brought much-deserved exposure to Tim's wonderful book, but he threw his support behind a largely unknown entity: Us! (And, dang, do we appreciate it.)

Plus-also, the mayor's flagship event at the beautiful Beverly O'Neill Theater Sept. 15, was So Much. Fun. Grobaty, a notorious nervous wreck in public, was in fine form — engaging and hilarious. Kudos go to the mayor, too, who had a bag full of great questions for his fellow liberal Democrat, neither of whom shied away from the controversial topic of politics. (At one point, Tim was asked what led him to his political philosophy. "Well, I got an education," he quipped.)

One of our personal favorite moments came at the beginning of the audience-participation portion of the event, when former Mayor Bob Foster took the mic and spoke in glowing terms about both Tim and his book to the crowd of some 250 people. "You've been a tremendous asset to this city," Foster said.

And then there was the woman who asked what profession Tim would have chosen if he couldn't have picked journalism. "Probably marine biology," Tim answered, at which point Jerry Schubel, president and CEO of the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific stood up to offer Tim a job if the whole journalism thing doesn't work out. 

Tim has been writing for the Press-Telegram for 40 years — and has been the paper's most well-read daily columnists for a great number of them. He also has written three books about the history of Long Beach. At one point during the evening, he acknowledged that, having written about the city's lore for so long — he felt as though he has become a part of it. And when asked whether he'd ever kept a journal, Tim said: "My column. Really, my column is my journal."

You can read about the event in the media here and here.The whole thing was filmed and will be available to watch online at some point — we'll keep you posted. But in the meantime, please consider joining Tim at our next two events.